dread is often—i would even venture to say usually—much worse than the actual cringe-worthy event. i should know that by now. but it doesn’t stop me from letting apprehension build with the approach of something i would rather avoid, deny, ignore.
i don’t know what was most offensive about this unwelcome milestone – the fact that time has had the audacity to keep marching on, or that i now have a marker to make me feel woefully lagging on where i’m “supposed to be” emotionally by this point. the pain is still fresh, the shock still wearing off, yet my excuse for emotional episodes can no longer be an acceptable “my mom died last year.”
although unintentional, i’d established a self-imposed statute of limitations on my grief. in my mind, once we were on the other side of the year mark, the expectations on my feelings, actions, and reactions would be different…even though i honestly don’t feel much different.
while i’m certain not one of my family or friends would ever place a time constraint on my healing process, i feared that people wouldn’t understand. as if the general consensus after a certain period of time is “the sorry window is closed on that.”
but when i woke this morning (the day after The Day), i felt considerably lighter. as i read God’s word, i felt Him reminding me that He has been, is, and will be my strength, comfort, and joy amidst the sorrow. i realized that while the longing for my mother is still just as strong as the first day without her, she would be proud of the way her family has spent this last year honoring her memory, glorifying The Healer, rejoicing in new beginnings, enjoying fun times, and leaning on each other.
missing my mom desperately is not a sign of weakness, because healing is not a matter of moving on from someone who will eternally be an intimate part of my life. it’s about moving forward, on purpose, fearlessly.
it’s amazing how surviving one of your worst fears, and and experiencing God’s provision though it, renders all other threats innocuous.